The Beginner’s Guide to Wire Ferrules

Assortment of wire ferrules

Wire ferrules are commonly used to secure the ends of stranded wire. Unlike solid wire, stranded wire doesn’t have a solid core. Rather, the core is made of multiple strands. Some stranded wires have seven strands, whereas others have 19 or more strands. When working with stranded wires such as this, you may want to use wire ferrules.

What Are Wire Ferrules?

Wire ferrules are crimp-style sleeves that are designed to protect the exposed and stray ends of a stranded wire. They consist of a hollow, tube-like sleeve. Most wire ferrules are made of copper with tin plating. You can crimp them onto the ends of a stranded wire.

Stranded wires, of course, feature multiple strands. By definition, wires only have a single conductor, whereas cables have two or more conductors. Wires, however, can have multiple strands that act as a single conductor. After stripping the insulation off the end of a stranded wire, its strands will be exposed. With a wire ferrule, you can cap the strands so that they don’t fray or otherwise succumb to damage.

How to Use Wire Ferrules

You’ll need a crimping tool to use wire ferrules. Assuming you’ve already stripped the end of the stranded wire, you can place the exposed strands into the wire ferrule. Most wire ferrules have a wide side and a narrow side. The wide side is designed to support the wire strands, whereas the narrow side acts as a connector.

Place the exposed strands of the wire into the wide side of the wire ferrule. You can then place the wire ferrule into your crimping tool. After squeezing the tool’s handle, the wire ferrule will collapse, thus securing the ends of the stranded wire.

With a wire ferrule attached to the end, you can now place the stranded wire into a terminal block, screw terminal or another connector.

Types of Wire Ferrules

Wire ferrules come in a variety of types. There are insulated and uninsulated wire ferrules, for instance. Insulated wire ferrules live up to their namesake by featuring a layer of insulation. They aren’t completely covered in insulation. Rather, only the wide side of insulated wire ferrules features insulation. The insulation is colored, making them easier to identify.

Uninsulated wire ferrules are made entirely of tin-plated copper. They don’t have any insulation, nor do they feature any coloring. As a result, uninsulated wire ferrules typically cost less than insulated wire ferrules.

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